It’s matchday once again as City play host to Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League this afternoon – and there’s a plethora of City-centric news and views in Saturday’s back pages.

There’s warm words for Pep Guardiola from his Seagulls counterpart Graham Potter, predictions a-plenty, some more intriguing follow-up to Thursday’s Champions League draw and a snippet of transfer gossip.

Plenty to digest then ahead of the big kick-off later this afternoon…


BrightonandHoveAlbion.comPotter hails game-changer Guardiola

Alex Stedman: The Seagulls head to the Etihad Stadium this weekend looking to cause an upset against last season’s title-winners, and the Albion head coach spoke of his admiration for the man he’ll be seeing in the home dugout on Saturday afternoon.

He said, “He’s [Pep Guardiola] somebody who’s had a massive influence on the game and everybody looks at him.

WATCH: Fight 'til the End: Part Four

“I can’t think of any manager who’s had as much of an impact on the sport wherever he’s gone – you only have to look at his work with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City.

“Before he came to the Premier League it was a division where people said ‘anybody can beat anybody’ – he’s changed that over the last few years, nearly 200 points or so later, it’s not quite the same and that’s his influence without a doubt.

“Their resilience is often overlooked because of the success they have, but it isn’t always about attractive football.

“They fight for everything in every game and every action, that’s a huge credit to them as a group."

Brighton Argus  Swansea’s City Cup scare won’t help Albion - Potter

Adam Stenning: "Brighton boss Graham Potter says his encounter with Manchester City last season will be no help to him when the Seagulls travel to the Etihad.

READ: Foden will get opportunities, says Guardiola

WATCH: 400 up | spotlight on David Silva 

"In the FA Cup quarter-final last season, Potter’s Swansea City side went 2-0 up inside the opening half-an-hour against City, before eventually tumbling to the champions 3-2.

"He said: “It’s a different team, a different group of players, a different environment, a different competition we have experienced it.

“It was a nice game but,at the same time, we have got to help our players perform at the Etihad. That’s what we have got to do, that’s the challenge.”


BBC  Mark Lawrenson

"Brighton have had a good start with a win at Watford and a draw at home to West Ham. They did lose to Southampton but were down to 10 men.

"This is a bit like a free hit, but it will be interesting to see how they set up. Graham Potter likes to play out from the back but good luck doing that against Man City."

Prediction 3-0

WATCH: Inside City: Episode 352

Bet Victor Michael Owen

"City trail Liverpool by two points in the table but they have the opportunity to go top if they beat Brighton at the Etihad with Liverpool kicking off later in the day at Turf Moor.

"Sergio Aguero scored his 234th and 235th goals for City at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday in another irresistible display by the champions and it is hard to see the Seagulls stopping Pep Guardiola’s side in their current mood."

Prediction City win

SkySports Charlie Nicholas

"I just hope that Graham Potter has a plan A, plan B, and plan C at the ready for this one. Do you sit in and hurt them from set-pieces? Where do they pitch? Where do they put their back five? You do not want to give them pockets of space.

"Manchester City interchange, fly down the wing with pace, Kevin De Bruyne does this, David Silva does that. What formation do they play? They play football and they enjoy it, that's why you need different plans."

READ: Sterling and De Bruyne earn PFA POTM nominations

WATCH: Guardiola delight at Laporte's France call-up

"I don't see anything but pain here for Brighton. Raheem Sterling and Aguero are frightening, with De Bruyne in full swing now too. I am sure De Bruyne could be the best ever at City, better than the rest. If you want a game with lots of goals and smiles, this is your game."

Prediction 5-0


Manchester Evening News Super computer tips City for Champions League glory

Josh Challies: "The Premier League champions have been handed a draw alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and tournament new boys Atalanta, which will be seen as favourable.

"As a result, the number crunchers at FiveThirtyEight have assessed City 's chances of going all the way and put Guardiola's side as 27% likely to life Europe's biggest prize.

"City are given a whopping 93% likelihood of winning their group, a 99% likelihood of reaching the knock-out stages and an 81% chance of appearing in the quarter-finals.

"Their chances of reaching the last four are 59%, while they are 41% likely to reach the final in Istanbul - where the supercomputer predicts Guardiola will face off against former employers Bayern Munich.

WATCH: Guardiola praises Walker's strength of mind

"The Bundesliga champions are given a 17% likelihood of winning the competition, ahead of last year's champions Liverpool, at 12%, and Spanish giants Barcelona, tipped at 10% likely."

Transfer gossip

Daily Mail City plan swoop for Norwegian super-teen

David Kent: "Manchester City are plotting a January move for Norwegian teenage sensation Hakon Evjen.

"The 19-year-old midfielder is emerging as one of the hottest prospects in European football at the moment following a string of outstanding performances for Bodo/Glimt.

"Arch rivals Manchester United have also been heavily linked with a move for Evjen, but City are considering a move once the January window re-opens.

"Anderlecht and AZ Alkmaar, as well as clubs from Germany and Italy, are also keen on the youngster.

"Bodo/Glimt are currently top of the Norway's top division and Evjen has earned rave reviews for his performances."